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Ethnicity and Racial Identity Issues in the United States of America

The United States continues to experience endless waves of immigration which is an ethnic and racial identity issue for millions of Americans. The issue is complicated and has a rich legacy of the country’s history of slavery and expansion of Native American lands all over the North-American continent. Race has no genetic or scientific basis but the concept is significant and consequential to American society in establishing power systems, justification of privileges, and oppression of minorities. Racial identity is an issue of a social construct designed to divide people into groups ranked as superior and inferior. Fundamentally, we all belong to the human race with no biological basis. However, racial identity in the United States is real and everyone is assigned a racial identity with or without consent. Ethnicity groups compete for power, access to resources, and territorial control. Ethnic groups play an important role in mobilizing members to engage in ethnic conflicts and political interests conflicts.

The Rationale of the Topic

In American politics, today, ethnicity and racial identity shape the power systems and how presidential candidates, the House of Representatives, and the Senate are elected. The country has two major political parties which are associated with specific ethnic groups and races, based on the policies and interests of the party. In the Democratic party, for example, the majority of its members and the people who vote for its candidates are black race. The Republicans majorly comprise the white race, who are the single majority of U.S voters.

The American course in ethnic and racial identity in the next few decades will depend on African-American community dynamics and the relationship between African-American and other ethnic groups. The white race is also on the edge of proving its unmatched superiority since the birth of the United States, but the trend is hard to predict (Moffitt & Syed, 2021). The current patterns are politically instigated, with volatility, and impact a lot of people’s choices. The country faces an influx of illegal immigrants which has become a political issue for decades and has contributed to widespread systemic racism against people of color, evident in the killing of George Floyd and Taylor Breonna.

The United States currently has a tenuous black middle class. One-third of African-Americans by conventional measures of income status, literacy levels, and occupation are described as middle class, compared to almost half of the whites. This is an astonishing fact, that is historically connected to the early 1960s’changes when blacks could hardly pass their income status to their children. The greater disparity that still exists today regarding income, education, violence, occupation, political participation, and voting rights makes the issue of race and ethnicity a bigger internal affair of greater concern. Americans across ethnic and racial identity groups see race and ethnicity playing significant roles in their personal lives. Blacks are more likely to say that racial identity hurts them more than it helps and thwarts their ability to get ahead. Hispanics, Asians, and whites perceive racial identity as an advantage than an obstruction.

The ethnic and racial composition is becoming more complex as Asian and Latin American immigrants added an impact on the cultural and phenotypic diversity of American society in the past decades. The boundaries between ethnic and racial identities are vanishing due to high rates of intermarriage between communities and the growing population of mixed ancestry. Projections of ethnicity and racial identity structure appear to bring up a population of brown Americans characterized by continued intermarriages of different races and ethnic communities (Abrajano & Alvarez, 2019). Some researchers interpret the consistent decline of racial and ethnic identity declines as significant to American society since it allows immigrants to integrate with the larger white population and enjoy the same privileges. Many Americans, including whites, have multiple identities reflecting complex ancestral origins, communal associations, different ideological outlooks, and cultural norms and beliefs. Generally, people do not change their ethnic origins but emphasize other aspects based on circumstances. For example, an individual who identifies his origin as Mexican may identify as Hispanic and as American when abroad.

Annotated Bibliography

Neblett Jr, E. W., Roth, W. D., & Syed, M. (2019). Ethnic and racial identity development from an interdisciplinary perspective: Introduction to the special issue. Emerging Adulthood7(2), 79-84.

The article offers a wider view of ethnicity and racial identity issue within various disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. According to Neblett Jr et al., ethnicity and racial identity gives an understanding of the history, the current issues, and the proposed changes. The article gives a deeper reflection of different research that has been conducted by several scholars on the issue and solidifies them into one discussion that evaluates the present state of ethnicity and racial identity in the United States.

Additionally, the authors’ opinions view ethnicity and racial identity as an issue that shapes society and brings major changes that the political class used to influence their policies. The psychology of ethnicity and racial identity appear to benefit socialists in the pursuit to institute consequential changes to entire groups and change the norms of how individuals are classified by others. The authors are concerned about how people think of themselves whenever asked what ethnic and racial category they belong to. The information is key for data and other demographic and survey groups to capture the depth and complexities of the identities people develop. The information in the article could easily be included in a journal to serve as a basis for discussion of ethnicity and racial identity to create awareness of better changes that could lower the risks and increase engagement and enjoyments.


Neblett Jr, E. W., Roth, W. D., & Syed, M. (2019). Ethnic and racial identity development from an interdisciplinary perspective: Introduction to the special issue. Emerging Adulthood7(2), 79-84.

Abrajano, M., & Alvarez, R. M. (2019). Answering questions about race: how racial and ethnic identities influence survey response. American Politics Research47(2), 250-274.

Moffitt, U., & Syed, M. (2021). Ethnic-racial identity in action: Structure and content of friends’ conversations about ethnicity and race. Identity21(1), 67-88.


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